When Gentech Industries research company set up their headquarters in the small suburban town of Hillsdale, NJ, the residents aren’t too happy. A crusading army of eco-activists led by local preacher Father Morris (Will Dunham) are intent on closing down the complex at any cost. Meanwhile Laura Forman (Sprague Grayden), and her pals, Steven (David Garver), Jennifer (Katheryn Winnick) and Joe (Matt Markey) decide to pay the place a visit, unaware that Bible touting Morris and two of his cronies have already forced their way into Biotech determined to find out what evils are going on.
Laura and Jennifer are picked up on the way in by Officer Walker (Al Thompson) and Sergeant Murdock (Jon Avner) who are alarmed that such a high-tech building is apparently unmanned by security, and decide to investigate themselves. Once inside the groups discover that research involved a strand of gas called ROTD (a nod to the RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD films series), which reanimates corpses in order to produce an army of unstoppable zombies, and hope to sell to the military. However, an accident has unleashed the gas and reanimated a series of corpses (used for tests) that have most of Gentech’s staff into flesh-eaters.
From here on in, it’s a case of ‘Who will survive, and what will be left of them?” as we are treated to some nifty zombie make-ups, gore FX, and nods to various zombie movies ranging from DAWN OF THE DEAD to REANIMATOR. Not much in the way of originality, but this film does manage to score high points with its dialogue, and characterisations that are quite authentic. Director/Scriptwriter Michael J. Hein manages to introduce each group of characters into the scenario with some clever plot development. The cast are pretty good, especially Al Thompson as heroic Officer Walker, and Will Dunham as Father Morris. A special mention must also go to the thumping electronic score by David Neabore that I found particularly haunting. Unlike 99% of SOV horror flicks, BIOHAZARDOUS has a lot going for it and director Hein is certainly a cut above the usual screenwriting talent found in low budget movie making.
Carl T. Ford
Directed by Michael J. Hein
USA / 2000 / 93 minutes.
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